MLB Iron Man Cal Ripken says the NY Giants ending Eli Manning's consecutive starts streak "saddened" him -- but it ain't the apocalypse fans are making it out to be.
We got Cal in D.C. ... and the Orioles legend told us that having to sit after 2,632 STRAIGHT GAMES really didn't even register -- 'cause all he cared about was playing baseball.
"I don’t look at it that way -- that you're extending a streak or ending a streak," Ripken told TMZ Sports. "It never was something that I thought of as beginning or ending."
Eli's situation is a little different 'cause he didn't get to make the call himself like Cal ... but even so, Ripken thinks he'll be alright now that he's back under center.